2022 Greater Palm Springs Economic Report highlights local economy
Despite gains in employment over the past two years, the 2022 Greater Palm Springs economic report shows other challenges still affecting the Coachella Valley, including income inequality. However – the report says the possibility of a recession in the near future is unlikely.
Experts presented the findings today at a summit organized by the Coachella Valley Economic Partnership (CVEP).
When it comes to employment rates, Manfred Keil, chief economist with the Inland Empire Economic Partnership, says the Coachella Valley is doing better than last year.
“We’re catching up, so we’re doing a little bit better now," Keil said.
However, the 2022 Greater Palm Springs economic report shows some cities are in a better place than others.
The report shows six of nine valley cities had not recovered all the jobs lost during the height of the pandemic, as of March 2022.
The graph shows only Cathedral City, Desert Hot Springs, and Indio added jobs. Palm Springs had the most decline in employment.
Leisure and hospitality were the worst-hit sectors with other services and retail also showing some difficulty. Experts discussed the findings Monday at the Coachella Valley Economic Partnership Summit.
So should we be worried about a looming recession? Keil says not just yet.
“Our forecast model does not predict that we are currently in the last year of economic growth expansion, meaning we will not have a recession within a year,” Keil said.
Attendees at this year’s summit also heard from local civic leaders. Stone James, economic development director for Cathedral City, said access to higher education is key to economic growth.
“We do not have enough higher education to train and educate a workforce so that as a valley we can begin to attract traded sector businesses,” James said.
He went on to explain what that is.
“A traded sector business is a business that sells a product, but they sell that product outside of the region. So that means they’re bringing new capital into the market,” James said.
Joe Wallace, CEO of CVEP, shares a similar belief.
“If we’re going to have a technical economy, if we’re going to have an educated population, we’ve got to educate the people who want to be here and have their families here,” Wallace said.
Cal State San Bernardino student Annette Ruvalcaba attended the summit with other fellow college students. For her, investing in higher education locally is personal.
"If we can invest more in education I can see my own niece grow up and have her education here and she can build, you know, her own business,” Ruvalcaba said.
You can check out the 2022 CVEP Economic Report below: